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New York TimesThe murderer in the mirror (2 min read) A surgeon's reflection on the death of his patient.
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NPRSocial stigma makes the opioid crisis hard to confront (7min) There are many reasons why the opioid crisis is so hard to confront. One of them is social stigma. It often extends beyond users themselves, to their families. People see addiction as a moral weakness, and by extension, the moral weakness of their families.
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New York TimesMy Human Doctor Medical school teaches us to examine, to research, to treat. We don’t learn to err and recover.
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Washington-PostWhen drinking ruins your liver - should you qualify for a transplant? When patients develop alcohol liver disease, they are often forced to wait 6 months to prove they can abstain from alcohol before they will be considered for a transplant. Is that a fair amount of time? Is that a fair practice at all?
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healthaffairsWithholding surgery: How gaps in policy fail people who inject drugs A recent New York Times article described a harrowing situation faced by some people who inject drugs and develop endocarditis, a life-threatening infection caused by bacteria that enter the bloodstream and settle in the heart. The article described doctors in Tennessee deciding whether to perform repeat costly heart surgeries on patients who were re-infected with endocarditis as a result of ongoing illicit drug use—and at times declining to operate. There are policy failures that are to blame, too, for how and why resources are allocated this way. This looks at those failures and how our bias influences both the policies and how they are applied.
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New York TimesInjecting Drugs can ruin a heart - how many second chances should a user get? A life-threatening heart infection afflicts a growing number of people who inject opioids or meth. Costly surgery can fix it, but the addiction often goes unaddressed.
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RadioLabThe Fix (whole episode - 43min) This episode we take a sober look at the throbbing, aching, craving desire states that return people (again and again) to the object of their addiction … and the pills that just might set them free.
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A birth plan for dying Hanna Neuschwander grapples with ending a wanted pregnancy, and finds that “right” or “wrong” fail to describe the moral reckoning.
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